Tuberculosis (TB)

Nutritional care and support for patients with tuberculosis


World Health Organization

nutritional care cover

Publication details

Number of pages: 54
Publication date: 2013
Languages: English
ISBN: 978 92 4 150641 0



This guideline provides guidance on the principles and evidence-informed recommendations on the nutritional care and support for patients with tuberculosis.

Undernutrition increases the risk of tuberculosis and in turn tuberculosis can lead to malnutrition. Undernutrition is therefore highly prevalent among people with tuberculosis. It has been demonstrated that undernutrition is a risk factor for progression from tuberculosis infection to active tuberculosis disease and that undernutrition at the time of diagnosis of active tuberculosis is a predictor of increased risk of death and tuberculosis relapse. However, the evidence concerning the effect of nutritional supplementation on tuberculosis prevention and health outcomes among people with tuberculosis had not previously been systematically reviewed.

Member States have requested guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) on nutritional care and support for patients with tuberculosis.


The primary audience for the guideline is health workers providing care to people with tuberculosis. However, the guideline is also intended for a wider audience including policy-makers, their expert advisers, and technical and programme staff at organizations involved in the design, implementation and scaling-up of nutrition actions for public health.

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    A narrative review of recent progress in understanding the relationship between tuberculosis and protein energy malnutrition. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2013) 67, 1122–1128; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2013.143; published online 14 August 2013. (pdf, 497kb)

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